If you want to turn your little space into your very own Farmer’s Market, you don’t need much to get started! There’s a common misconception that you must have a huge backyard, top-of-the-line soil, exotic seeds that come from a foreign land (and a massive price that follows, just to have a decent garden. But let’s get serious here – gardening is one of the most natural things that happens here on this earth, and all you need to pull one off is a little time, dedication and some basic gardening products. Then, all you have to do is throw some seeds. Pun intended!
So, whether you’re rocking a small balcony overlooking the city, have acres of free land or simply don’t want to deal with the upkeep of a large garden, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s everything you need to know about growing a container garden.
5 Steps to Growing a Container Garden
Step One: Pick Your Plants
It might seem silly to pick your plants before you have any of the other required gardening tools, but if you don’t know what you’re growing, you won’t know what you need. So, choose whether you’ll be growing fresh flowers, juicy fruits or your very own herbs and veggies.
Once you’ve done that, conduct a thorough amount of research on the growing conditions each plant you chose needs. Some plants do require more sun or water than others, and some definitely require a lot more TLC. So, narrow in on the plants that cater to your gardening intentions and desires. If you don’t want to spend a lot of time maintaining your plants, you’ll certainly want to stick with easy-to-grow plants, such as herbs, leafy greens, cucumbers, radishes, peas, potatoes, tomatoes, berries, daisies, lemons etc. If you're thinking indoor plants try something easy like a Fiddle Leaf Fig, String of Pearls, Peace Lily or Fruit Salad Plant.
If you need some added inspiration to help you choose the perfect plants for your container garden, look no further than the wonderful book Grow. Food. Anywhere. by the Little Veggie Patch Co. This book redefines what it means to grow food in small spaces. It takes a look at contemporary gardening styles and shows the time-poor, small space aspiring gardener just how possible it is to create an edible paradise.
Step Two: Get Some Gardening Containers
Assuming you’ve done your research as mentioned in the first step, you’ll likely already know how your intended plants will grow. We don’t mean to sound like a Dr. Seuss book, but some plants grow tall, some plants grow wide, some plants grow wild, and well, you get the picture.
So, the items you picked in the first step will help you determine what type of containers you’ll need for gardening in a small space. For example, you’ll need deep garden containers for any vegetables that grow into the ground or tall ones for fruits that grow above ground. Most plants will also need drainage holes, so check that your container has one. What is the purpose of a drainage hole? Well we know plants need water to survive, but over-watering can also be the fastest way to kill your plants! Drainage holes allow excess water to seep out of pots after watering, which will keep your plants happy and thriving.
The good news is that most plants will grow to their surroundings. In other words, they will rarely bust their roots through your small container garden. If you're unsure what size container you need, feel free to ask us or check with your local nursery.
Step Three: Add Material to the Bottom of your Containers
Like we mentioned in Step Two - most plants don’t like to sit in water. So, you’ll want to add a layer of material into the bottom of your containers to help with drainage. This can be as simple as laying down some natural wood chips or little stones in the bottom of your containers.
Step Four: Top Up with Some Topsoil
Fill your containers with some topsoil (or garden soil which is boosted with compost and organic matter that’ll make your container garden flourish even more). This container gardening tip is pretty simple, yet crucial. Good quality soil rich in organic matter is one of the key components to a successful garden.
Step Five: Throw Some Seeds
Then, it’s time to throw some seeds.
The type of plants you’re growing in your container garden will depend on how you should plant your seeds. For example, some plants want a lot of space from their seed-sisters and others can be pushed down into a cluster. It all depends – so, do your research (ahem, step one) on the specific plants you’ll be growing.
Lastly, find a place for your container garden. Perhaps it’s on a window sill, on your balcony, on your front decking, or a small section of your courtyard – the options are endless when you’re growing a garden in containers. Just make sure wherever you place them, they’ll receive the sun, water and shade they need to grow. So don't forget to utilise all that research you did on the best growing conditions for your plant, as this will help you choose the perfect spot for it. Oh, and of course, subscribe to the Throw Some Seeds newsletter to make sure you don’t miss out on any great container garden tips and exclusive deals and discounts.